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Causes of Chest Pain in Teens

Causes of Chest Pain in Teens

Chest pain is a scary experience for the teens as well as their parents, as they fear that it is related to some cardiac problems. However, most of the time, the causes are not serious. This article highlights the primary factors that are responsible for it.
Bidisha Mukherjee
Last Updated: Apr 3, 2018
Teenagers are usually least bothered about their health. However, when they have a pain in the chest, it makes them anxious. In some conditions, the pain occurs frequently; while in others, it just happens suddenly and once in a while. It may show up during any physical activity like running, watching television or even when sitting in class and can significantly hamper their everyday life. Many of them start believing that they are suffering from some serious heart diseases or cancer. However, the reality is that chest pain in teens is mostly harmless and only in extremely rare cases, it is a symptom of any major health problem.
Causes

In general, chest pain is a sharp pain that is felt in the area near the breast bone. Some of the common causes of such pain are mentioned below.
Precordial Catch Syndrome
Children and adolescents often tend to get chest pain due to precordial catch syndrome. It results from a spasm in the muscles of the chest wall. The symptom of this condition is a sharp pain at the left side of the chest that lasts for hardly 30 seconds. It can make any person restless as the pain aggravates while taking breaths. The discomfort continues for some time even after the pain is gone, but there is nothing to worry about it. The pain is mainly triggered by poor posture and is experienced after sitting in the same position for a long time. It can also happen if one stops all of a sudden after running at a high speed.
Costochondritis
The condition is characterized by an inflammation in the cartilage present at the joints connecting the ribs with the breast bone and gives a pain in the adjoining area. This kind of swelling occurs after some respiratory infection or strenuous physical exercise. The pain and tenderness are accompanied by breathing difficulty and it worsens as the person tries to take deep breaths. A kind of numbness also spreads across the back, chest and abdomen. This problem is more commonly found in teenage girls.
Respiratory Problems
The respiratory problems that can lead to chest pain include bronchitis, asthma and allergic cough due to smoke. The symptoms that are associated with these diseases are breathing problems or wheezing and continuous coughing. In these conditions, the actual trigger behind the pain is painful respiration. This type of pain is temporary and does not continue for many months. It lasts as long as the respiratory disorder is there. Pain due to some serious heart or lungs diseases are not very widely known among the teens. In case of any form of cardiac pain, the patient would get palpitation and a lot of sweating.
Gastrointestinal Problems
Sometimes, it happens that an adolescent fails to identify the abdominal pain and mistakenly assume it as a chest pain. Minor digestive problems like acidity, heartburn or gas can give rise to this kind of chest pain. Gas formed inside the intestines and stomach puts a lot of pressure on the chest wall. As a result, a breathless condition arises and pain and tightness is felt in the chest region. This is not at all a serious issue and just causes a mild inconvenience for a brief period of time.
When teenagers complain about chest pain, you should first assure them that the pain is not associated with heart attack or any other cardiac problem. As the anxiety in their mind comes down, they will start feeling better. Even though the cause is not life-threatening, if it recurs, then it is always advisable to consult the physician to ascertain the exact reason.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.